An indecent attack is odious enough – but why should assailant be allowed to keep victim gagged?


It’s unacceptable enough that a woman is subjected to some sort of indecent assault.

But it becomes outrageous when her attacker can then gag her as well, aided and abetted by the justice system.

Alf refers to a Sunday Herald report that tells us the victim of an indecent act is outraged her attacker is allowed a say in whether she can reveal her identity.

The woman is making a legal bid to lift her name suppression to tell her story without fear of breaking the law.

But the man who attacked her has a legal right to challenge her bid and a hearing date has been set.

The woman has told supporters she is traumatised and feels she is being revictimised, says Ruth Money of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, who is supporting the woman and her family in trying to overturn the suppression.

“Even [the attacker] to be a party to the proceedings doesn’t make any common sense let alone any legal.”

“They just shouldn’t have any rights over these ladies. It’s ridiculous.

“There’s no respect for survivors in this system whatsoever.”

It’s hard to disagree – assuming the assailant has been sentenced.

It would not be too clever if she wants to do what Tania Billingsley did and pop up on a TV show to reveal her identity and discuss a case that happens to be sub judice. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the Malaysian diplomat in the Billingsley case will be sent back here to face our courts.

But if he does come back, the question of whether he can now expect a fair trial is a good one.

Alf has supposed that in the case discussed by the Herald on Sunday today, the assailant has appeared in court, evidence has been given, he has been punished and the name of the accused, for whatever reason, has been suppressed.

All this being so, it is entirely in order for the victim to be able to apply to have the suppression order lifted so she can identify herself and say whatever it is she wants to say.

It is not in order for the assailant to be able to object to this and ensure she remains gagged.

Alf, naturally, will be raising the matter with Crusher Collins.

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